Job sharing is defined as an alternative work schedule where two employees share the responsibility of one job voluntarily. This is a full-time position, and the sharing creates regular part times for the employees like half days, alternative weeks, or alternative days and thus avoids absenteeism. The employees are entitled to salary and benefits on a pro-rata basis.
Meaning of job sharing
Job sharing occurs when more than one employee share and fill one full-time position. It is an employment arrangement where the job position is shared to complete the job task, and everyone is equally responsible for the workload. Working hours, holidays, and pay are divided evenly and compensation distributed accordingly.
Understanding job sharing
Hectic schedules and busy work life has a direct impact on the personal life of an individual. It can cause differences between the partners who are unable to spend quality time with each other, affect their leisure time, and can be a reason for additional stress, anxiety, and resulting depression. To avoid worst-case scenarios employees start looking for other arrangements that can give them some reprieve from hectic professional life.
Job sharing allows two or more employees to split the duties of one full-time position; for instance, if an employee is a new mother, she can spend more time with her baby with the help of this arrangement. The concept of job sharing gives the necessary flexibility by accommodating the unconventional schedules of the employees.
Advantages of job sharing
The advantages of job sharing are as follows-
- One of the benefits of job sharing is that it offers the employees enough quality time to relax and rejuvenate from the pressures of their professional life
- As the work is divided, there is a better balance at the professional front and there is no need to accept undue work pressure
- The job-sharing arrangement is the best option for those employees who have a great rapport with their would-be partners and share a good bond and understanding with them
- Sharing a job profile makes both the partners aware of each other’s skills and knowledge. This can improve their skills and prove beneficial in the long run for their personal growth
- Job sharing helps to open the communication channels and connect in a better way
- Sharing job will bring two employees on the same wavelength ad help them to build better understanding and teamwork with each other
- The job-sharing concept fosters a feeling of loyalty and strong work ethics between the employees
- Job sharing improves employee retention as this alternative arrangement might be suitable for some of the employees who have time-related personal problems to deal with
- It encourages accountability and responsibility within the arrangement
- Employees who are job sharing are seen to be more efficient and productive in their work. Their belief is to spend quality time in the workplace, and hence they try to utilize their professional time to the maximum
- Exchange of ideas, skills, and know-how between the job-sharing partners can help to enhance the output because of increased employee engagement and satisfaction
- Job sharing is an arrangement that tries to give a sense of peace to both the employees. They are relaxed in their surroundings, and it results in a long-term career because they have the necessary zeal to keep on working for a long time
- It improves recruiting by attracting high-level talent that does not want to work full-time
- As the concept of job sharing offers the necessary flexibility, it can minimize tardiness and absenteeism
Disadvantages of job sharing
The disadvantages of job sharing are as follows-
- All the partners involved in the scheme of job sharing are equally dependent on each other to complete a particular task by a specific deadline. If one of them fails in any way, the impact is equally felt by both the workers, even though one of them might have been giving his 100% to the job. One wrong partner can make a hassle of things hence it is better to spell out the roles and responsibilities in the beginning to avoid such scenarios
- One of the severe issues in a job-sharing arrangement is about who is in charge of that equation. Differences are bound to creep up after some time and this could lead to a lack of coordination and confusion about the roles and responsibilities
- The chaos in the equation can result in productivity issues as the efficiency level of either one or both the employees can be affected
- If one of the partners decides to opt-out of the job-sharing scheme, then it will have a direct impact on the whole arrangement, which will fall through. It might be challenging to find another partner who would be willing to participate in such an unconventional scheme. This proves disruptive and can cause severe repercussions for the other employee
- It is upon an organization and its policies to determine the salary and benefits that are to be allotted to the employees who are job sharing. They might not be eligible to some perks that other full-time employees are receiving and this is a disadvantage for them
- In some cases, it is seen that the arrangement of job sharing means higher administrative costs for the business. The manager will have to spend extra time because he will have to deal with two employees instead of one. Coordinating the efforts of both the employees means additional administrative arrangements and thus additional costs
- Division of labor – There will be tasks that will be difficult to divide amongst the employees who have job-sharing arrangements. For example, if one employee starts dealing with a client, then the client will expect him to continue with it. It will be confusing if both employees keep on switching roles every time. This could have an impact on customer satisfaction and can result in the loss of a valuable client.
- Job sharing harms the HR department as its workload is increased. It is a headache where the salary has to be divided between the employees because it means extra work. Similarly, it is problematic to share up paid holidays, personal time, sick days and vacation days appropriately
- As per the employment rules, an organization has to treat every employee fairly and equally. It becomes necessary to create clear policies for job sharing as a company cannot afford the same salary and benefits to a full-time employee and to those who are job sharing
- When two employees are job sharing, it can result in unnecessary competition between them. This is unhealthy for the employees as well as the company they are working for
How to make job-sharing arrangement work
The concept of job sharing is gaining immense popularity with time because of its flexible arrangement. It is essential to take the following steps if you want to make the arrangement work.
1. Choose the right partner
Your partner in the job-sharing process is your better half in the professional space. Choose him wisely. Select someone with whom you can communicate easily. Remember, the right choice is one with whom you can both agree and disagree without affecting the equation and the balance between both of you.
Such arrangements will need continuous communication hence pick someone with whom you can converse with ease. It is essential to have an open communication channel to collaborate and make viable arrangements. The best person for the job is often a person with complementary skills to balance the scales
2. Decide how to divide the work upfront
Some conversations should be conducted before entering into an arrangement. Go over the job profile and look at all the different parts related to the job. Look at your experiences, skills, preferences, and work experience and now divide the work profile in such a manner that it will prove the best option for both of you.
The scales should be balanced if you expect the arrangement to work because inequality can create disharmony and discord between partners in the long run.
3. Connect and communicate
Both the employees are working one job and they must deal with each other like two sides of the same coin. Convey and seek information from each other if you want to continue with the arrangement admirably.
Sit face-to-face and clear out any relevant issues so that it does not escalate at a later stage. Meet regularly to discuss work progress and check-in with the work.
4. Secure the support of your supervisor
Take your supervisor on board before making a job-sharing arrangement with another colleague. It is essential to secure his help if you want to make it a success. Provide him with regular feedback and keep him in the loop so that he is aware of the progress.
Going the extra mile and keeping your boss informed increases a sense of confidence and trust that will help you in the long run.
5. Manage expectations
It is essential to do a job-sharing a seamless experience. People with whom you are working as vendors, clients and colleagues should also be kept in the loop about the arrangement so that no one has a problem with it at a later stage. There should be an understanding, purpose, and trust between all the relevant characters to make the job-sharing arrangement work
6. Give it time
Once you have entered into a job-sharing arrangement, make sure that you give it time to try and work it out. Set a pilot period to experiment with the viability of the provision. At the end of that period, reassess and make adjustments if you want to continue with it and make it work.